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Can Guinea Pigs Learn to Walk on a Leash?

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You can "walk" a guinea pig on a leash, but don't try to get your guinea pig to go for outdoor walks. Unlike dogs and cats, cavies cannot successfully learn to go for leashed walks. Do not take your guinea pig onto a sidewalk in an attempt to get him to walk like your neighbor's miniature poodle. All you might accomplish is confusing the little guy. While some people indeed train their small captive pets to walk around on leashes, it isn't suitable for guinea pigs.

Tethered Investigation

While getting your furry cutie to go on actual walks might not be practical, you can let him have the pleasure of checking out your backyard while on a leash. If you put a secure leash on your guinea pig, you can guide him as he curiously investigates the outdoor world, walking around in the grass. You won't lose him under a fence or down a burrow behind a bush.

Monitoring Leash and Leashed

Carefully monitor the leash at all times. If you don't, you could risk your cavy's body getting entwined in it. It's imperative for the yard to be securely fenced. You want to do everything you can to make sure your guinea pig stays safe and comfortable while he's enjoying his outdoor excursion. Never let your pet outdoors without monitoring. Many potential dangers exist for guinea pigs outdoors, from toxic plants to birds of prey. Daffodils are one example of hazardous plants to guinea pigs.

Harness or Leash

Never attempt to use a dog leash on a guinea pig, even if it's small and designed for puppies. The goal to comfort in leashing your cavy is ensuring that it properly accommodates his build and stops him from getting loose. Speak to your veterinarian about finding a small harness or leash designed specifically for guinea pigs and other tiny critters. Mesh harnesses are sometimes used for guinea pigs. If a product isn't geared specifically toward guinea pigs and other wee animals, leave it alone. Don't use anything until you get the approval of your veterinarian, either.

Getting Guinea Pigs Used to Harnesses or Leashes

Before you take your guinea pig on a secure yard visit, give him some indoor practice. Place a harness or leash on him for brief stretches of time while he's indoors. Try this twice daily for a few minutes at a time. Every time you do this, extend how long you do it by a little bit. If you do this for about a week, the little one will be a pro by the time you finally go outside with him. Remember to never leave him alone while the harness or leash is on him, whether he's indoors or outdoors.

Other Forms of Exercise

If a guinea pig doesn't get sufficient exercise, excessive weight gain and other health issues becomes a possibility. Don't be upset that you can't walk your guinea pig for his exercise, though. Cavies can receive their exercise in plenty of healthy and safe ways. A spacious enclosure that enables your guinea pig to stretch his body and move around freely can work, but let him get out of his housing for physical activity, too. A shallow kiddie pool with no water in it can make a good space for a guinea pig's exercise. Look for a pool made of plastic. Place some of his favorite toys inside of it, then sit back and watch him have the time of his life.